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Email list, email list, email list.
We’ve all seen it. So many bloggers preach growing your email list. And many longtime bloggers regret not starting their email list sooner.
You know why?
Your email list is YOURS. ALL YOURS.
On Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter you are competing against powerful algorithms, paid advertising, and advanced players.
But that email list gives you direct, one on one communication with your ideal audience.
This blog is 5 months in the making and my email list is 4 months old. I’m pleased to have grown my subscriber list to 703 subscribers in 4 months and I want to share what I’ve learned with other bloggers and Moms aspiring to start their blog.
My goal is to give back that same support, advice, and encouragement to fellow bloggers. To do that, I’m going to share the importance and “how-to” of starting and growing your subscriber list.
And if you’re eager to get a free copy of my Secrets to Email Promotion, click the graphic below!
Followers vs Subscribers
Did you say you have 1,000+ Pinterest followers? How many of those followers are guaranteed to see your new eBook?
Eh, not sure? Neither am I, I have no idea how many users are able to see my Pin. Mostly because Pinterest is not a follower’s game, it’s a Search Engine.
>>If you want to Master the Pinterest game check out Pinning for Pageviews. I’ve recently purchased this product and I’m super excited to implement and track my growth.
And of the people seeing my Pin, are they even my target audience?
Who is Ready to Buy?
Target audience is important here because these are the people that are MORE inclined to buy.
These are the people ready to give you money for your product because they identify with your brand. Your content provides them value, naturally, your (future) paid product will do the same.
Now, let’s say you have 1,000 email subscribers. You have the ability to send your eBook directly to all 1,000 subscribers.
It’s not like Pinterest where you can’t even be certain that your 1,000 followers are seeing your hard work.
What would you rather have? Followers who may or may not be invested in your brand? Or subscribers who get excited seeing your latest email?
The Value of an Email List
In reality, 100% of your subscriber base may not be active, avid readers of your content but it is waaaaay more powerful than sending a Pin out there into the Pinterest Universe and hoping for the best.
Chances are your subscriber audience is already actively engaged in the material you offer. If not, they would’ve passed on your opt-in.
Now back to the scenario of 1,000 email subscribers. Imagine you are ready to launch your first paid product and you’ve just sent out your best influential marketing email.
60% of your list opens the email. That’s 600 recipients.
Of those 600 individuals, 4% want to buy your eBook right off the bat. That’s 24 people.
Yay! You’ve made 24 sales and at a price of $24.99/each.
Not bad, not bad at all.
Are You Ready?
Now, you’re amped up and ready to grow your subscriber list. Or maybe you’ve been trying but your numbers just aren’t growing.
First, you’ll need an email provider. I use MailChimp because it’s free up to 2,000 subscribers and has, in my experience, been a good beginning platform.
People like [Free] Value
To get people in the door of your virtual world, give them something free. Think of it as a sample of your value.
In blogging terms, this is your freebie. It may consist of a printable download, eBook, service, checklist, contest, or email course.
The free offer must be something that easily fits into your content (all the more places for promotion!) And it has to solve a problem for your reader.
If I am going to go out of my way to signup for a printable, I want to make sure it is going to provide me something in return.
Don’t know what your readers want? First, identify and describe your target audience. You have to know “the who” before you can determine “the need”.
Here are a couple questions to get your mind churning:
- What problems does my audience encounter?
- What are the barriers to those perceived problems?
- What does my audience want to achieve?
- What outcome do they anticipate?
- How can I find a solution to meet their needs?
- How can I offer my audience a path to get there?
- What are similar bloggers offering?
Chances are, you fit your target audience because we typically write about what we know best, so analyze yourself, what helps you every day? What are you using to meet long term goals?
Let’s Make It
Ok, you’ve got your idea, now what? Make it tangible!
Things to keep in mind when creating your offer:
- Limited color – I realize this totally depends on your offer, but chances are people don’t want to be wasting a ton of ink, especially if it’s something they will print out time and time again.
- Simplicity – the saying is true, simple is best. Do not over complicate, this only wastes your time and if not done right, your design will end up looking less professional.
- Time – creating a FREE printable should not be a labor intensive effort. After all, it is free, save your endeavors for your paid product. However, give yourself a break if you’re a first-time Canva or PicMonkey user, there’s always a learning curve!
- Print it out – do not assume that just because it looks good on your screen means that will translate to hard copy. Always test your work, give it to a friend, get feedback!
The Printables That Grew My List
I want to share the exact printables that contributed to the growth of 500+ subscribers because I believe what you make and when you offer it are important to your success. I enjoy making printables and strategically looking at my posts and determining what ‘value-add‘ component I could offer to enhance the post.
You always want your reader to take away something from your post, whether that is the message itself or an action, I challenge myself to see how I can come up with an idea for an opt-in. This exponentially increases your opportunity for email growth.
And remember, you can always go back and upgrade older posts by adding a freebie.
To date, the printables I offer are routine charts for kids, a chore chart, a toddler grocery activity, travel documents, and a goal setting worksheet for kids. I invested in clipart from Whimsy Clips to make a majority of these printables which helped enhance the value of the product.
I believe the routine charts contributed the most to my subscriber growth because they fit a need at the right time.
August and September have been averaging 15-20 signups per day because people are going back to school and looking to establish routines. Timing is key, but it’s not everything . . .
Secrets to Promotion
Besides promoting the heck out of your new, awesome freebie, you’ll want to make sure you have multiple places on your blog for users to opt-in.
Make sure your opt-in forms and promotional Pins are vibrant and eye-catching (of course, in a way that doesn’t clash with your brand).
Your goal is to entice your perfect avatar to give away their email address in exchange for that must-have freebie!
If you’ve got a boring “click here to subscribe button” chances are many of us will pass right by. You’ve got to tell us what amazing things you’re giving us.
Think of it like the cereal aisle, how many of your kids walk straight past those brown organic, natural [boring] cereal boxes and get pulled like magnets to the bright, blue and orange, Frosted Flakes box?
That’s the allure you’re after.
Tell your audience how you’re going to help solve their problems!
For the detailed, juicy and gossip worthy secrets to promotion sign up for my free checklist. You’ll get 3 major marketing moves I’ve used to grow my list to 703 subscribers in 4 months.
Don’t worry if this is all new and overwhelming. I felt that too. I had many frustrating nights in the beginning couple months getting my momentum going.
If you need some help brainstorming a freebie, be brave and drop a comment with your blog URL and I’ll be happy to help contribute some ideas☺
I am a MailChimp user because the first 2,000 subscribers are free. Once I figured out the lay of the land in MailChimp it’s been easy navigating.
But I’ve heard the feedback and not everyone finds MailChimp user-friendly.
In fact, another blogger was having trouble setting up her first opt-in and I offered to put together a few screen shots . . . which brought me to create an instructional eBook on MailChimp Setup Made Easy.
This eBook is designed to help the driven and motivated blogger get their list building skills off the ground without frustration and spending more money.